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Discussion Starter #1
Do any of you guys have any experience of making new shells.Would it be possible to make new shells using new components to make a profit.I'm thinking of using a reloading machine or two like the Dillon SL900,or the Spolar.An industrial loader would be veeeeeery expensive to start with.As for wads Spolar tells me that downrange make them wads so at least this would be an option.I have been told that new hulls are difficult to crimp properly in a reloader.
With the current price of components someone must be making vast profits unless they are ALL sitting on components which were all bought at very high prices.I would be using straight walled hulls.As I now live in Ireland most components would come from Europe unless someone can suggest a cheap way of shipping from the States.I would prefer using American components as I think they are superior.
I found this site where this guy makes shells.This is the type of thing I'm thinking of. http://www.sportingammo.com/
However I would be concentrating on 12 gauge trap loads only.Do any of you live near Palms or know of this place.I intend ringing him this week.
So if yous can give me any advise it would be very much appreciated.

Happy New Year
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Halfmile,thanks for the reply but how do any of the manufacturers make any money,they must have liability insurance.This would mean that we will never see another new manufacturer.
 

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Bigk - Even with a Spolar or P/W, you can't turn out enough shells to make any type of profit. They just aren't designed to constantly turn out shells in the volume that the commercial companies do. You also can't buy components in sufficient volumes to offset the shipping and import costs, much less (as Halfmile cites), the liability insurance costs. Remember, your labor is worth a certain amount of money per unit of time. You could never recover your investment costs, and you would have to be independently wealthy to continue such a venture. Quality focus is the first task which must be addressed when volumes are increased. Can you maintain quality sufficiently, even when producing more than your own consumption?

I doubt that the local government would allow you to run a cottage operation out of your home. Here in the U.S., zoning laws prevent folks from running small manufacturing companies from their basements. Folks also don't like living around any quantities of gunpowder, no matter how safe you are in storage and handling. Remember also, that these reloading companies may not warrant their products if you use them for commercial purposes. I don't know what the Spolar or P/W warranties are, but it must be a consideration.

In addition to insurance, you would need several attorneys on retainer to handle potential liability lawsuits, and defend you in case of the inevitable mishap. While Irish society may be somewhat less litigious than here in the U.S., I doubt that you would survive a lawsuit. If a friend's Perazzi blows up, I doubt that he'll pat you on the back, saying, "There now, don't worry about it."

I reload all my own shells, and I won't let anyone shoot them but me. Mine are of good quality, and go "bang", unless I have a bad primer; but I would never let anyone shoot them, but me.

The major companies such as Winchester, Remington, Federal, Fiocchi, Diana, Rio, etc., have years of experience, and have the ability to spread all costs among a much larger base.

As with any enterprise, you must consider this - After ALL considerations are taken into account, is the effort worth the risk? If you can't confidently answer that question in the affirmative...

Just some things to consider.

Best,
Dennis
 

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The profit in shell manufacturing is in volume. You need to be set up to sell several pallets every day (pallet = 100-110 cases). You do have one major advantage in Ireland. Ireland has figured out that the way to stimulate the economy and create jobs is to not heavily tax manufacturers. In the last 30 years Ireland has moved from a rather poor country to a very strong economy that is well above other parts of Europe and much of the USA. My friends in Ohio and Michigan should ask why the manufacturing base in Ireland, North and South Carolina has grown very rapidly.

Pat Ireland
 

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You are overlooking the obvious. Why would I purchase Bigk shells when I can get commercial and well known ones so easily albeit maybe a bit more expensively, at least that is what you are hoping for.

So the cost of advertising would have to be part of the equation as well as the cost of the equipment to make the shells, the cost of components, the cost of insurance, the cost of packaging and the cost of transportation.

If you are reloading for yourself that's one thing. A commercial enterprise is not to be taken lightly.

Cheers,

jerry
 

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What happens the first time someone has a K80 Blow Up (they are bad about that on here anyway)??? You don't have the team of lawyers the big MFG have.

Besides I will not shoot anyone's shells and know of few shooters that will use mine. O there are the shooters that shoot with me and they do on occasion shoot my shells. But normally no.

Rock

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments boys,this is what has been going through my mind also.I have been looking into component and machinery and running costs and still think it could be made to work.As for advertising I feel that as Ireland is small this should not be a major problem,I probably know half the trap shooters in it already.I feel that if I were to design a premium shell using only top quality components well loaded that there would be a market. I feel that the quality of the shells will sell themselves and most important that they can be sold at a good price.Irish shooters are not afraid to try a new product.They would have no loyalty to any particular company so long as the shells are good enough and at a reasonable price.I would be the only manufacturer in Ireland and maybe play the old flag flying angle(lol)
You have no idea of the prices we are being asked to pay here for shells.A 1000 top class shells would set you back about 230 euro.95 percent of the shells used are imported from Italy and the like.This involves both road and boat.There are about four or five middle men all taking their pound of flesh between there and the shooter.I see some European shells for sale in the states at lower prices even than in Europe.Make sure to keep your own manufacturers because if you don't you will be at their mercy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I see that there has been over 1200 viewings of this thread which gives me some encouragement.At least the shooters show an interest in the title which tells me most would at least give them a go.As I say I would be depending on the quality to do the selling.I realise that to get this going will be a major undertaking,but what the hell we only live once.Might as well join the bankers.


K.
 

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I don't know what your liability and legal requirements are over there but in the good old US of litigous A we are required to have one or more of various types of licenses. When we had our commercial business (very small scale), I remember we had to have FFL, Ill tax no., Fed Mfg lic, and some others I forget now. Lots of red tape plus the things the good guys above listed.

I load rifle/shotgun/handgun for me and me alone these days.

I've turned down many opportunities to "load a few", or "load a pile" or "load some for a special hunt" just for the liability and friendship reasons. Why don't you think about making stocks, recoil reducers, duck calls, bows, or any of a number of things that don't/can't blow up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good replys,but unfortunatly I just hav'nt got the brains.Have a son however who works for Bombardier making some veeeeeerrrrrryyyyy high tec stuff.Hope he does'nt read the old mans posts.
K
 

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Nothing ventured nothing gained. I've had a medical devices business for several years. Started out on a shoestring. I asked several fellows about going at it with me before I started. Hell yes they would if they didn't have to put up some money. It is the caracter of most people to want the best for nothing. Well it don't happen that way. I went at it alone. I found that by makeing the products for the major companies first was the way to go.
After I was in the business for about 3 months I had all kind of buddies willing to put the money down to get in. I told them it would cost more now cause I had much business already going plus the machinery. Dumasses thought the would buy in for what we orginally talked about. Buy this time it would cost them 3 time more. OH NO I can't afford that.

About 3 months after that they were watching me grow so they came back and said Ok I'm ready we got the money we taked about. I said that was 3 months ago. Sorry I have more work and contracts and am Hiring more people. I will needs 9 times more that what we talked about now and if you can't do that don't come back later cause you won't be able to afford that either.

Since the time I was 40 I never had a payment for a house or car or anything. I'm 62 now.

The moral here is if you don't take a chance when you are young you have lost that chance do to fear of greed. You can make up your losses if you are young cause you have enough time. If your heart and desire is there then failure is not an option. Its the ones that are afraid of loosing a penny that don't get their feet wet.

Insurance, hell I wouldn't worry about that untill you are doing volume. Its just another greedy scare tactic. Don't let negative talk mire you thinking. If you are married talk it over with your wife. Someone who has confidence in you and knows you ability and drive. Good luck. B12
 

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There were quite a number of "commercial" reloaders in the US at one time. Many reasons that they have gone away. It can be a viable business under the right circumstances - but very few of us on this side of the "great pond" will know anything about your market. This is what you must understand and address. Who is your customer, what will drive the buy decision ("custom loads", price and/or quality, ease of purchase, etc etc) and who is your competition.

The legal system here in the US is to be feared. It will be different in Ireland, and I suggest you contact a solicitor who specializes in commercial legal work to get sound advice.

The economics are relatively easy to calculate. If you cannot "do the numbers", you probably should not be in business anyway.

I wish you much success.

I had the pleasure to shoot with two of your countrymen (Jim and David) this year at the Ohio State Shoot. Damn fine shooters and gentlemen.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #16
dverna,would one of those guys have been fairly chunky and the other with a mustash?Dougherty and McLaughkin?
tHANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGMENT.
As I said have a lot more research to do,and am waiting on hundreds of replies from various places but with the holidays things are a bit slow.
K
 

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The european model for shell manufacturers is quite different that here in the US. Almost none of the european operations manufacture their own components. They buy hulls from Cheddite, Wads from B&P or Gualandi, powder and primers from someone else and assembly the shell. There are a couple of manufacturers that make high speed loading equipment. I have seen them in operation and they are nothing like a Spolar or Dillon. These are machines made for much higher volume.

We have had small boutique manufacturers in this country. I only know of one who is left and that is RST who makes small runs. Estate was bought up by Federal and Olympia is gone mainly due to poor management. We could use some people in this market.

Tom
 

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bigk
I cannot recall their last names. I think Jim shot a Krieghoff and he related he was on the IRA "hit list". His buddy was a tad "chunkier" but I do not recall what he shot.

If they are the same gentlemen, please pass along my regards.

Don
 

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The machines the name boys use spit out shells like the brass coming out of a Vulcan Gatling Gun.

I doubt if pulling a handle will get you more than about 25 cents an hour.

Also, the majors do not depend on target ammo which is a very miniscule portion of the shotshell market.

The cheap promotional loads are what keeps them alive.

Don't forget you have to have a license from the ATF to make and sell ammunition. I would contact them first before spending any money.

HM
 
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